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Wheat Rises on U.S. Crop Concerns; Corn, Soybeans Climb

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures rose, halting the longest slump in four months, on concern that U.S. supplies will be cut after drought damaged winter crops and rain delayed planting of spring varieties. Corn and soybeans also gained.

About 31 percent of the winter-wheat crop was in good or excellent condition as of June 9, compared with 53 percent a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. The agency probably will report tomorrow that output will fall 11 percent to 1.468 billion bushels, the lowest since 2006, a Bloomberg survey of analysts showed.

“The wheat-crop ratings are terrible” in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter, Joseph Vaclavik, the president of Standard Grain Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Traders are looking for smaller U.S. supplies, and that is helping to give the market a boost.”

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 1 percent to close at $6.9675 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped 2.7 percent in the previous four sessions, the longest slump since early February.

Corn and soybeans gained on speculation that rain will slow final planting in the Midwest, reducing the number of acres sown and average yields, Vaclavik said. There were 4.7 million acres left to be planted with corn as of June 9 and 23 million acres of soybeans, based on USDA estimates, he said.

Showers will move east from Nebraska and North Dakota in the next two days with many fields receiving as much as 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain, slowing field work, Global Weather Monitoring said in a report to clients. A second storm will start June 16 in the same areas, the forecaster said.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 0.9 percent to $5.5075 a bushel. Soybean futures for November delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $13.27 a bushel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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